Pedal Press

Fast Track Index

Printer Friendly version of the August PedalPress

Club Ride Start Time Change Becomes Effective in September

Beginning on Monday, September 4th, all KBC club rides will start at 6:00 PM instead of 6:15. The light is disappearing earlier these days, and this change is necessary each year so the rides can finish in sufficient daylight.

The Wednesday night Hammerfest will continue to start at 6:00 PM, as it has throughout the season. As the sun sets earlier, riders will shorten the route in order to return to the Kal Haven Trailhead parking lot in safe light.

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KBC Anniversary Ride and Picnic

Come one and all to the KBC Anniversary Ride and Picnic being held on Saturday, September 16th, starting at 10am at the Kal-Haven Trailhead parking lot on 10th Street in Kalamazoo. 

The Anniversary Ride is a great opportunity for KBC members and their families to ride together in a relaxed atmosphere, and it provides a chance to catch up on summer adventures and gear up for the fall season. Bring the family, or have them meet you at the trailhead after the ride for good food and fun!

Several road rides will leave from the Kal-Haven Trailhead at 10 am on that day (a trail pass will be required for parking in the lot). There may also be a ride on the Kal Haven Trail. The idea is to return to the trailhead around noon, just in time for a party. The Club will provide pizza, soda, and tableware. We ask you to bring a dish to share according to type of bike you usually ride with KBC.

If your bike frame is:

Ride details: Riders will leave the trailhead parking lot at 10 AM, on routes of 14, 19, 23, 31 or 36 miles. You choose your route and group, and time your speed to get back at about noon, when the food will show up. Maps of the various routes will be provided. Riders doing the longest route, 36 miles, have averaged about 18-19 mph in the past.

Seating is limited at the trailhead, so consider bringing your own chair too. And don?t forget your Kal Haven Trail pass. Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 16th, and we'll see you then!

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KBC/WMU BTR Criterium Bike Race

On Saturday, September 30th, starting at 10:00 AM, KBC will collaborate with Western Michigan University to put on a criterium bike race at WMU?s Business Technology and Research Park. The BTR Park is located at the corner of Parkview and Drake Road in Kalamazoo.

The United States Cycling Federation-sanctioned race, which is open to the public, will feature a .8 mile course with many twists and turns. Racers will be divided into seven categories: Juniors, Kids, Men Cat 5, Men Cat 3/4, Men Cat 1/2 Women Cat 1/2/3/4, and Masters (40 + years). $3,000.00 in prize money will be awarded to top finishers and winners of ?primes? during the race.

Racers must hold a USCF racing license in order to participate. One-day licenses will be available at registration.

Racing begins at 10:00 AM with the Juniors, and the other races follow 30-50 minutes apart.

Greg Lawford, veteran bike racer and one of the organizers of the BTR Race, says, ?If you?re not going to race, criteriums are an exciting spectator sport. Because the route is short, closed and circular, the racers pass by often ? and there?s a lot of action when they turn the tight corners.?

Lawford, Team KBC/Little Caesar?s Race Team leader, is asking for volunteers to help staff the event. Because it will last most of the day, potential helpers could work a 3-4 hour shift either in the morning or afternoon. Help is needed at the registration table as well as on the course. Lawford?s contact information is:, or 323-7700, extension 3763.

There is a race flyer on the KBC website at: BTR Park Crit Flyer.pdf

Online Registration is available here.

The BTR Criterium Road Race, which WMU and KBC would like to turn into an annual event, promises to be an engaging, exciting day of bike racing in Kalamazoo. Please come out not only to see the racers in competition on the course, but also to help support the sport of bicycling in this area. And, if you can, lend a hand to help make this race a success.

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President's Letter

September is upon us.

September brings a number of KBC events: the KBC Anniversary Ride on Saturday, September 16th at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street, and the WMU/ KBC BTR criterium race, set for September 30th at the Business, Technology and Research Park located at Parkview and Drake Road. If you have never seen a criterium, they are very spectator-friendly: high speed races on a short track. Volunteers will be needed for both events.

With the coming of fall, the KBC board will begin the process of examining projects for next year. KBC received a commendation from the City of Kalamazoo earlier this year for ?Ride Your Bike to Work? month in April. The KBC should not rest on its laurels; we need ideas on how to build on this for next year. Bike Camp was an outstanding success this year; there will be a need for folks who are willing to share their knowledge, experience and leadership for Bike Camp 2007.

Many of the best ideas for projects come from individuals or groups that come up with an idea that KBC should do _________. If you have such an idea, please let the board know of it. It is best if the idea has a plan for what resources will be necessary (people and money) and if you can explain how this will benefit cycling in the community. In the past the board has tended to look with favor on projects that have identified who, what, where, when, and how much as completely as possible.

Please be aware that the days are getting shorter. Please use your lights when it gets darker and wear bright or reflective clothing.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

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Meeting Minutes

Present at the meeting, Mike Boersma, Jim Kindle, Tom Keizer, Paul Bruneau, Jelania Haile, Victor VanFleet, David Jones, Dick Nivala, and Dave Bishop.

The meeting was called to order by President Mike Boersma at 7:04 PM.

Treasurer?s Report given by Tom Keizer:

Income of $5,964.39; Expenses of $2,662.92


It was estimated that the FlowerFest Bike Tour will net approximately $1,500, the same as last year. We are still waiting for the invoice from Subway.

Mike Boersma reported the annual ride around Kalamazoo County will be this Saturday August 12th. Details are on the website.

Mike also reported the BTR Critterium planning is going well. Permits are being obtained. There will be company open houses in the BTR. Still looking for event sponsors. The race will be held on September 30, 2006.

Old Business:

New Business:

Anniversary Ride/Party will be September 16, 2006, 10:00am, at the Kal-Haven Trail Head. The question was asked if we need to notify the Van Buren Road Commission. Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell will check with Zolton Cohen to see if he has any contacts there.

Victor VanFleet stated that there are 127,000 families in Kalamazoo County and 123,000 bike hanging in garages not being used. KBC needs to get more people involved and riding. How? He will put together some ideas.

Tom Keizer reported that a member had asked him to bring up two items. First would it be possible to work with the Van Buren County Road Commission in order that a KBC membership would include a trail pass. There was much discussion with no solution.

Second, the issue of recognition for the Ride Leaders was again breached. A T-Shirt was suggested. No decision was reached.

Dave Bishop reported the Flower Fest went well. He and co-director Mike Krischer learned a lot, and have some good ideas for next year. They will soon be looking for volunteers for next year?s event.

A motion was made by Paul (Speedy) Bruneau to adjourn, seconded by Tom Keizer. The meeting was adjourned at 7:32 PM.

Next meeting is scheduled for 7 PM, Tuesday, September 12th, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo.

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Kindle, KBC Vice President

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Birthdays and Expiring Memberships

Active subscriptions in KBC: 241


Lee Anderson * Eric Bekker * Joan Bennett * Melissa Bostwick * Lynette Burleson * Mary Cohen * Jonathan Decker * Cathy Doan * Kevan Farrell * Eric Gautheir * Bette Hall * Dave Hauschild * Arianna Holmes * Chris Howard * H. Knute Jacobson * Fred James * Jay Jayanetti * Richard Jura * Glen Kellam * Shanna Keller * Larry Kissinger * Gary Mattox * Zach McBride * Shawn Messenger * Ashley Mitchell * Mary Moore * Dick Nivala * Jacob Olbrot * Will Panich * Andrew Peterson * Dave Pierce * Misty Raynes * Sandy Shubnell * Tim Stewart * Chris Sundberg * Jim Van Buren

New Members

John Avink * JW Harper

Expiring Memberships

Bryon Bierema * Carl Clatterbuck Family * Michael Foley * Brad Fry * Marc Irwin Family * Robert Keller Family * Stephen Penix * Jeffrey Pregenzer Family

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August-September Ride Captain?s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

Before the start of tonight?s Monday Night Rides from Texas Park, Zolton reminded us that soon--right after Labor Day--our evening rides will begin 15 minutes earlier--at six o?clock.

I?m sure you too have been noticing the days getting shorter. And tonight, though the day was warm, there is a distinct coolness in the air. Fall is on its way! For me, fall is always a bittersweet time. The autumn is probably my favorite season. But I know its arrival also means we only have six weeks or so before many of us will hang up our bikes.

All in all, I think this has been a great season. It?s good to see many new riders out, and it?s impressive to see how well people are riding. This summer has been relatively accident free, and most ride leaders are urging us all to be respectful of motorists, just as we expect them to be respectful of us. Along those lines, it?s encouraging to hear that Gov. Granholm recently signed new bicycle friendly legislation into law. Thanks again to those KBC members who drove to Lansing to speak in support of that legislation during the critical initial hearings.

As we move into the autumn months of this riding season, let me offer just a few thoughts. First, to avoid injury, remember that when temperatures drop below 65, most pros pull on tights! There?s a reason--it protects the muscles and the knees. That?s one way to avoid injury.

Another thing to remember is that, with the sun lower on the horizon, it?s harder for drivers to see us--we all know what it?s like to try to see through a windshield with the sun directly in front of us. So, be aware! That?s one reason I advocate helmet mirrors. Mine has saved my skin more than once--by letting me see what?s coming up behind me, and how much room I?ll have when it drives by.

Finally, I wonder whether any KBC folks might like to explore the idea of picking a bike tour next summer, and riding it as a group. My son Paul and I had a great time on this year?s Shoreline West Tour, despite the alternating blazing heat and severe thunderstorms that defined the first three days. A tour like that would be even more fun with a contingent of 10 or 15 from our own club. I?ll just sow the seed, and see whether there?s any interest.

Happy cycling! Be safe! See you on the rides.

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

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September Ride Schedule

Important! Starting on Monday, September 4th, all KBC rides will start at 6:00 instead of 6:15.

The Monday Ride at Texas Drive Park consists of approximately 4 ride groups, which should provide a pace to suit riders of all abilities:

The 10-15 mile groups will generally ride the same route and are recommended for new riders. These groups will sometimes combine depending on the number of riders present. The10-15 mph group have gained quite a following, usually 10 ? 15 riders in 2005.

The 25-30 mile groups will typically ride the same route in the early part of the season. KBC recommends the 17 mph group for more experienced riders who are new to the club. This group is very steady and one of the most popular ride groups. The 19 ? 20 mph group is a steady group as well, for riders who want to ride a bit faster. The leaders for the 17 mph and 19 - 20 mph groups plan to keep the groups together and at a steady pace.

All riders who want to push the pace can do so in the 20+ mph group. The 18 ? 19 and 20+ mph groups will most likely start riding the more hilly routes after May, at the discretion of the riders and leaders.

Tuesday Night Time Trial: Greg Lawford, captain of the KBC/Little Caesar?s Race Team, reports that the Race Team has taken over the Tuesday Night Time Trial, and that it is up and going well.

The format, running dates, starting location and route for the TNTT are all the same as in years past. Parking is available at the Pavilion Township Hall at the corner of Q Ave and 28th Street. The time trials run on the first and third Tuesday of the month, along the measured ten mile course. Start time is 6:00 PM sharp.

Updates to the TNTT, according to Lawford, include race numbers for participants, and an Excel spread sheet that automatically does timing, MPH calculations, and placing for the event. There is no waiting at the end for results. Instant gratification! 

The Wednesday Ride meets at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot. KBC plans to offer 3 ride groups:

The 13-15 mph group decides the route at the ride start.

The 30 mile groups typically ride the same route and the groups may begin together. The 18-20 mph group will try to be steady at the pace indicated. The 22+ group will likely break up into smaller groups.

The Wednesday Night Hammerfest starts at the Kal-Haven Trailhead Parking lot at 6 PM throughout the summer. The pace of the ride is typically greater than 23+ mph and the route goes to Bloomingdale and back (about 46 miles). Since the route is well known to most of the regular riders, no maps are available for this ride. This group is typically large (more than 15 riders) and consists of racers and other experienced riders. Typically, there is no designated ride leader. The group usually fragments into smaller groups and the riders often times do not finish together. This ride is hard and is not suitable for inexperienced riders. Some riders can expect to be dropped from the main group.

Women?s Morning Ride ? Would you like to meet other women in cycling? Join Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile for a women?s-only ride on Thursday mornings. Meet at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC- south-west parking lot by the tennis courts) at 10AM. The pace will be 15-16 mph with a distance of 20-25 miles.

The Thursday Night Ride is a nice and easy social ride night at Texas Drive Park, and consists of a small but loyal group. Participation is expected to pick up as the weather turns warmer. Riders of all riding abilities are welcome. The pace is typically 16-17 mph and distance is 20-25 miles, led by Elaine Naegele.

The Friday Tour de Gull meets at Billy?s Bike Shop in Galesburg and the pace varies depending on who shows up (formerly led by Randy Putt). We did have a 16-17 mph group periodically as well as a large 20+ mph group last year. The fast group typically leads itself. The route for this ride is well established so the ride leader job is easy.

Mark your long-range calendars for some special weekend rides this summer. Several rides are being planned for the summer months.

If you have comments about the above-mentioned rides or have suggestions for other rides, contact Ride Captain Knute Jacobson at

Impromptu weekend rides can happen anytime the weather is suitable and someone is willing to organize them. If you?re interested in being informed of these impromptu rides, send KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson an email to get on the impromptu ride contact list:

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Editor's Letter

Ride Around Kalamazoo County

I don?t know about you, but I sure have been enjoying what KBC has offered this summer to the area?s bike riders. There are a lot of happy faces at the club rides, the members who participated in Bike Camp are showing up at club rides and taking part in the club?s activities, and I finally ? finally ? got the opportunity to be a part of one of KBC?s special weekend rides, the Ride Around Kalamazoo County.

We started the RAKC with about 14 riders, and several said at the start that they probably wouldn?t be able to hold the anticipated pace (18-19 mph) for the anticipated distance. It was gratifying to see the club represented not only by males (the typical predominant group at any ride), but also those of the female persuasion.

KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson passed out maps, gave us a pep talk and we were on our way. One interesting thing about this ride is that the route covers many of the roads that encompass the regular weekly ride and other special weekend rides. We initially hit sections of the Wednesday night Half Fast, Quarter Fast and Hammerfest rides. Later, up by Richland, we rode on the familiar roads of the Tour de Gull. Heading into Vicksburg we were on the infamous ?W Ride? route. And on the final stretches, going back to the KVCC parking lot, we toured some of the Monday night ride routes.

The parts that gave everyone trouble were the hills ? C Avenue east of Riverview, for example. What a roller coaster road that is. Fun, but also quite strenuous.

At the first planned stop, in Richland, everyone loaded up on food and drink, though the next stop was supposed to be Climax, just a relatively short hop down the road. Unfortunately, due to some defective map-reading, we ended up blowing by that burg and had to ride to Vicksburg for the next conveniences-store stop. Richland to Vicksburg is quite a haul, and everyone was getting antsy to get there; it provoked a lot of sitting up and standing on the pedals, and working out the kinks while still in the saddle. The stretch was so strenuous that Sherry Glas noted that uber-smooth rider Brad Fry actually shift a quarter inch in his seat?

Reconnoitering in Vicksburg, the group decided to cut the ride a bit short and take the most direct route back to KVCC. In all, the riders completed about 82 miles at about 17.7 mph, and everyone agreed that the day ? a beautiful sunny one - had been most pleasantly and productively spent. Thank you to Knute Jacobson for leading this ride so well. At some point we?ll forgive him for ? after sending an email around urging potential RAKC riders to have their bikes in good condition to avoid breakdowns while underway ? having to stop and hold the group up while he tightened a loose screw on his cycling computer. He will ? eventually ? live this down?

Doug McDonnell

Many of you know Doug and Pam McDonnell from the Monday rides, where in the past few years he became a regular on the Recovery route and she on the 13-15 mph ride. Doug had been involved in cycling years ago and was enjoying getting back into it, buying a new bike and making new friends in the club. He?s good company and a steady rider, and is an asset to any ride he attends.

But some months ago Doug started to feel as though the workouts he was doing weren?t improving his riding. He was finally convinced to see his doctor, was diagnosed with colon cancer, and subsequently had surgery for it. Now he is recovering from the surgery and undergoing other treatment.

I?m only mentioning what Doug and Pam are going through because they want to spread the word that people of a certain age need to get a colonoscopy on a periodic basis in order to detect colon cancers and other potential problems. The recommended age for a ?baseline? colonoscopy is 50 years, with subsequent ones scheduled every 3-5 years after that. But people with a family history of the disease should consult with their doctor to see if getting one earlier or more often would be appropriate.

Due to my procrastinating nature, I?m five years past the time when I should have already had a baseline colonoscopy. Because of Pam?s and Doug?s urging, I?m getting one on September 25th. If you?re in this age range, you should too. Good luck to both Doug and Pam as they fight Doug?s colon cancer. We look forward to seeing them both back on the bike in the near future.

Saddle Sores

My wife says I?m a sensitive chap. Actually, the words she uses are ?over-sensitive.? And so it would seem, given the trouble my bike seat has been giving me the last few years.

When I purchased a new bike last year I tried to use the saddle with which it came equipped. But after a few agonizing experiences with it I swapped it out for the old, familiar seat that had been on my previous bike for the past 8 years. Ah, back in the saddle again.

But the fact is, that saddle never fit very well either, and it seemed even more uncomfortable on the new bike. As I said before, I?m a procrastinator, so I never could quite bring myself to try anything new. The saddle was uncomfortable, but not crippling. Doing something about it would have required ? gasp, a change of some sort. And I certainly didn?t want that.

But, in anticipation of my first DALMAC bike tour, where I?ll be spending a lot of hours on the bike on consecutive days, I finally decided to see what I could do to increase the comfort factor of my saddle. Lo and behold, bike seats have improved in the past ten years since the saddle I was on was manufactured! Who would have thought? I got a ?loaner? Fizik Arione from Breakaway Bicycles in Portage, took careful measurements of where my present seat was situated on the bike, and, holding my breath, changed them out.

Whoa. What an improvement. Immediately too. Now I hurt in different places than I did before. So that?s a relief. But as I get more used to the new saddle (and it to me) even those new sore spots are disappearing. This is a saddle that makes me feel as though I?m sitting on something a bit flatter and broader than my old seat ? which, after a few miles always made it seem as though I was trying to perch on the upturned end of a fencepost. Now, perhaps, I feel like I?m sitting on a fence rail. Viva la difference!

It?s a bit of a risk undertaking a change like this so close to a major stressor like a long bike tour. But I?ll have about 300 miles on the new saddle before DALMAC starts, and that should be enough time for we two to get intimately acquainted. That is my hope anyway.

Moral of the story: Bikes are frames with components hung on them. Every one of those components can be changed if they do not suit your needs. Although it can move you dramatically out of your comfort zone, sometimes it?s a good idea to think about where your bike could be improved ? and then to do something about it. I?ll let you know how things go on DALMAC?

Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor

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?Bike Friendly? Bill, SB 1224, Signed Into Law

On August 15th, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed Senate Bill 1224 into law, effective immediately. This is the bill, reported on earlier in the PedalPress, that clarifies bicyclist?s rights on Michigan roads.

KBC President Mike Boersma and members Amy Mack and Kay Barker testified before a Senate Committee in support of this bill. Senator Tom George, from the Kalamazoo area, was a co-sponsor of the bill. To read the actual bill, as well as an analysis of its implications, follow the link below.

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Parking Ticket Warnings at the Kal Haven Trailhead

If, on the night of Wednesday, August 23rd, you were among those who drove to the Kal Haven Trailhead and parked in the parking lot, you may have encountered an unwelcome surprise when you returned to your car ? a parking ticket warning slipped under your windshield wiper.

Jeff Mitchell, Special Operations Officer for the Van Buren County Road Commission (VBCRC), was out there ?ticketing? vehicles that were parked without a Kal Haven parking pass displayed on the dashboard inside. The warning tickets were just that ? a warning. There is a sign near the entrance to the parking lot (in place since last fall) stating that owners of vehicles using the parking lot without a trail pass may have those vehicles towed. In addition, the PedalPress has published several times this year information regarding the parking policy at the Trailhead.

The PedalPress asked Mitchell why VBCRC is enforcing this rather strict parking regulation. It all boils down, Mitchell stated, to money. Mitchell says the state handed over operations and maintenance of the Kal Haven Trail to Van Buren County last year but neglected to include any funding for maintenance.

It costs money to run a facility like the Trail ? nearly $70,000.00 so far this year, Mitchell said. Toilets need cleaning and periodic pumping. Fallen trees need to be removed from the trailway. Someone has to sit in the caboose on the Kalamazoo end and the shed on the South Haven end and collect money for trail passes, answer questions, and be a contact in case of an emergency. Parking lots need paving, worn out equipment needs to be replaced, the trail sides and parking areas require mowing. It?s a big job, and it takes big money to keep things running right.

Mitchell says trail pass sales are up this year, which is encouraging. However, he said, so is the cost of running the trail. Obviously, fuel for vehicles and mowers is one big factor. So is the price of items like asphalt. And frequent wind storms earlier in the year brought down a lot of large trees that had to be cut up and moved off to the side of the trail. It all adds up to a larger operating budget than they were able to get by with last year.

What funds the Kal Haven Trail? Seasonal and day passes. And that?s why Mitchell is adamant that users of the trail?s facilities purchase a pass. Mitchell said he would like nothing better than to abolish the trail fees. He acknowledges that the cost of staffing the caboose in Kalamazoo and the shed in South Haven eats up a big chunk of the budget. However, until some grant or gift money comes along that would fund an endowment allowing him to maintain the trail without user fees, he?s stuck with doing what he can to raise the necessary money - one trail pass at a time.

One potential bright spot came out of Wednesday?s conversation. Mitchell said he would be willing to listen to a proposal that might link a KBC membership to a Kal Haven Trail pass at a reduced rate ? if there is enough interest to make such a venture worthwhile. This is a subject on the agenda for discussion at the next KBC meeting, at 7 PM on Tuesday, September 12th at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. If you?ve got something you?d like to say regarding this idea, please come and bring your opinions and suggestions.

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Velodrome in Battle Creek?

Rumors have been circulating for several years about the possibility of Battle Creek building a ?cycling center? that would include a velodrome. New information on the possible project has popped up recently in the form of a newspaper article and a branding/marketing plan.

The Battle Creek Enquirer article can be read at:

The Battle Creek marketing plan, which recommends the city invest in a cycling center and velodrome can be read at:

If this plan does indeed come to fruition, it could be years away. However, with increased emphasis being placed on cycling as a leisure, recreational and competitive sport ? and the continual pushing for and building of bicycling trails and lanes along roadways - it might eventually come to pass. Certainly, as the only velodrome within more than a hundred miles, it could be expected to draw quite a bit of interest from cyclists throughout the region. As more information becomes available, the PedalPress will report on how the discussions are proceeding.

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KBC Contact Information

2006 KBC Board of Directors

President Mike Boersma
  Phone: 269-720-1409
Vice President Jim Kindle
  Phone: 269-382-8053
Secretary Chris Haddock
  Phone: 269-624-5418
Treasurer Tom Keizer
  Phone: 269-382-4737
Database Manager Paul Bruneau
  Phone: 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen
  Phone: 269-344-0200
Ride Captain Knute Jacobson
  Phone: 269-629-0093
Social Director Jelania Haile
  Phone: 269-345-1274
Social Director Renee Mitchell
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet
  Phone: 269-375-7691
Webmaster Kathy Kirk
  Phone: 269-388-5045
Flowerfest Director Michael Krischer
Flowerfest Director "Super" Dave Bishop
  Phone: 269-679-4522

KBC Membership Fees

Monthly club meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month February through December at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Time is 7:00 PM. All members are encouraged to attend.

Please go to our website at to sign up for membership and for more information about KBC.

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